Saturday, February 25, 2006


New Jersey legislator seeks to circumvent driver residency requirement

In an effort that echoes the Massachusetts movement to give "in state" college tuition credits to illegal aliens, a New Jersey legislator is seeking to circumvent the post-9/11 federal requirement that driver's licenses be granted only upon proof of residency.

TRENTON, N.J. --A New Jersey assemblyman is pushing to create a "driving privilege" card that would allow undocumented immigrants to motor legally on New Jersey roads.
Assemblyman Joseph Vas, D-Perth Amboy, is fine-tuning a bill that would allow Garden State residents to obtain driver's licenses even if they can't prove they are legally in the United States.

The initiative aims to get around the pending federal "Real ID" program, which in 2008 will require state motor vehicle departments to verify legal residency of driver's license applicants. Driver's licenses from states that do not comply will no longer be usable as ID to board airplanes or enter federal buildings.

In anticipation, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has begun requiring new and renewing license applicants to prove legal residency.

Vas postponed a scheduled news conference Thursday morning in hope of melding his proposal with initiatives by Assemblyman Brian Stack, D-Union City.

Wendy Martinez, Stack's chief of staff, said such a bill is still in the discussion stage.
"We are looking to explore the possibility, but not committing ourselves," Martinez said. Stack, a member of the Assembly Transportation and Public Works Committee, "is very much concerned with guaranteeing the safety of motorists and pedestrians in a bill that would address the concerns about people driving uninsured and without a license."

Look boys and girls, here’s the basic problem: these people are CRIMINALS. They are here illegally, in violation of law, they are lawbreakers. Here’s a thought…instead of giving them driving privileges, give them a ticket back to wherever they came from.

Oh, sorry, my mistake. They’re not illegal aliens, they are undocumented immigrants. And since they’ve already managed to get here without regard for our immigration laws, there’s no reason to deny them driving privileges:

Advocates say undocumented immigrants are already in New Jersey, and driving, so it serves the interest of public safety to make sure they are also passing driving tests.

"We need to stop being hypocrites and not accepting that they are an important part of the economy of our state," said Martin Perez, president of the Latino Leadership Alliance. "If we use this labor force, we have to assume some responsibility for making sure they get to their jobs legally and safely."

That’s right, Mr. Perez, it is the responsibility of the law abiding citizens to “assume responsibility” for making sure the illegal immigrants can legally drive to their illegal jobs.

How about instead we assume responsibility for sending them back where they came from, and stop finding ways to make life easier for people who disregard our laws and come to our country illegally.

By the way, the whole "insurance" argument is a red herring. In most states getting a license in no way requires you to actually have insurance. In most states, you just sign a form that says you have insurance. Even in those states that actually require you to show an insurance "card", it's not too tough to print your own, or pay for insurance for a month and use the card you get to get your "driving privilege card", good for years. But, none of these people would ever circumvent any kind of insurance requirement, right? It’s not like they have a demonstrated history of circumventing the law, right? Oh, unless you count that little “immigration” thing.

There are, however, signs that not everyone in the New Jersey legislature is an idiot:

Assemblyman Christopher Connors, R-Lacey Township, has reintroduced a bill to prohibit the state from granting any license, contract, loan or tax abatement to individuals who cannot prove they are legal residents.

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